All’s Well that Barks Well

Newsletter 23 – Thursday, July 23, 2015

Current Hours

Cottage Grove location open

Mon-Fri 9-7
Sat and Sun 9-5

Edgerton location open

Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30
Sat 8:30-5:00
Sun 9-4

Lucy’s Story – Chapter 98 continued

"…the dummy family…"
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Snippet from Lucy’s journal…

It would have been nice if my mom had given you all an address to send your entry to for the ‘Name Lucy’s Kitty Contest’ huh?  (First let me clarify that that is NOT my kitty!)

Please send your suggestion to my mom, Shirley, at

Till next time~

We’re having a ‘Name Lucy’s Kitty Contest!’  The winner will receive a $25 America’s Best Flowers gift card.  Please try and keep in mind Lucy’s attitude about the kitty and fellow backyard dummies.  Originality is important!  Deadline is Tuesday, July 28th.  Good luck!

Buy Mini Rose – Get One Free

Freshen up your patio, deck and yard with color, lots and lots of color!  (And save money while you’re at it!)

Purchase one 8” potted Mini Rose and get one free. There is no limit. This offer is valid Thursday, July 23 through Wednesday, July 29 at both of our locations.  This offer is good while supplies last and is not valid on previous purchases.

Featured Plant of the Week – Climbing Roses

William Baffin Rose
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Add height to your yard or garden with climbing roses and they will add a whole new dimension to your landscape.  Climbing roses are usually easier to care for than other roses, but there is some training involved. 

Since they don’t have tendrils or suckers like vines have, they will need additional support to climb up a trellis, fence, or whatever other structure is involved.  It’s simple, just loosely tie the canes to the support structure with a soft cloth or string and you are on your way to achieving that wonderfully romantic and nostalgic look. 

Stop on out and choose from our colorful selection of climbing roses and receive 20% off.

Calling All Dirty Dogs!

A dog in a bathtub

All clean and dirty dogs are welcome at America’s Best Flowers 5th Annual Dog Wash this Saturday, July 25th at our Cottage Grove location! A cool refreshing bath, a nail trim and a professional picture are all a part of our fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society. 

Your four-legged best friend will be in the loving and gentle care of volunteers from the Dane County Humane Society (DCHS), Tabby and Jack’s Mobile Grooming and Talbot Photography. 

For a suggested $10 donation (or more if you choose) Dane County Humane Society volunteers will shampoo and rinse all those intriguing (?) summer smells from your dog.  All proceeds go directly to the Dane County Humane Society. 

(Here is a helpful tip from Tabby and Jack’s for owners of long haired dogs; long haired dogs should have a good brushing before a bath to remove any matting or knots.  This will allow for a more thorough rinsing of shampoo.) 

If Rover or Daisy has a very special bath towel, please feel free to bring it on Saturday and have the volunteers use it to dry your dog.  

The DCHS is always in need of towels!  If you have any old and clean towels that you could bring to the dog wash and donate to the humane society it would be greatly appreciated.

Tabby & Jack's Pet Supplies and Grooming

Stop by and visit Kelsey, a professional groomer, at the Tabby & Jack’s Grooming booth.  Kelsey can trim those doggie nails either by the traditional method or with a drummel.  The cost for a nail trim by the traditional method is $10 and for the drummel method is $15. 

Did we mention that Tabby & Jack’s is donating all proceeds to the Dane County Humane Society?  How great is that!

Talbot Photography

Don’t forget the brush!  Talbot Photography will be here to photograph your best four-legged friend.  How about a picture of the two of you together?

For a $30 donation, your dog will have a professional photo session in a cool, calm and private area in our greenhouse and you’ll receive an adorable 5×7 picture that you’ll treasure for years. 

All proceeds will be donated to the DCHS. Picture perfect, wouldn’t you say?!

What’s a dog party without prizes!  There will be door prize drawings during the dog wash.  You must be present to win.  We will provide water and treats for the dogs and, ah, those necessary plastic bags (we’ll even do the picking up!)

Seventy dogs attended our fundraiser last year.  Please help us break the 100 attendance mark this year.   

Bring your darling dirty dog(s) in for a day at the spa and help us reach our goal of $2,000 for the Dane County Humane Society.

Please check the website for a list of much needed dog and cat items.  We will have collection bins for your generous donations.

Let us paws a moment here and ask Mother Nature for a beautiful day!  In the event of lightning, thunder or hurricanes, it will not be safe to continue with the dog wash. However, we would move Tabby & Jack’s indoors to join Talbot’s Photography and everything else will continue as planned.

Please sign up for your dogs’ bath and nail trim upon arrival at the registration table in front of the main greenhouse.  

For safety reasons all dogs must be on a leash.

Remember to mark your calendar for Saturday, July 25th, from 11am – 3pm.   It’s clean dog day at America’s Best Flowers!

A couple of very satisfied four-legged customers from our 2014 dog wash.

Spencer has trouble walking, so he is laying on one of our perennial carts on a bed of towels. In the picture, his 'mom' is smiling next to him.
Spencer enjoys the complementary valet service
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Spike not only got a bath, but won some free doggie cookies!
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A german shephard lying comfortably in the grass
Though he may look like just an ordinary dog, this dog is a public servant
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The 2nd Annual Fundraiser for the Cottage Grove Canine Fund has been cancelled for this weekend.  We were looking forward to seeing Larz and Officer Tony Koratko this Saturday, but we understand the duties of these two public servants.

We are looking into rescheduling for later in the fall.  We will keep you posted!

Shhh, we strongly suspect that Larz and his handler, Officer Tony Koratko, have been called away for a super secret mission.  Stay safe Larz and Tony!

Banner Image: Cottage Grove Police K9 Unit. Contact the Police Dept. to Donate: (608)839-4652

If you would like to donate to the K-9 Unit fund please visit their website for details.

Culinary Herb Essentials

By Lauren Krouth

Herbs have the power to make our senses dance! They’re incredibly delicious, nutritious, and their unique flavors and aesthetic quality are the difference between a simple dish and an extraordinary meal. Whether you’re using fresh or dried herbs, several items are necessary or helpful for the process, and we have items from the most trusted brand for food preservation, Ball.

For fresh herbs, the must-have item is a good pair of herb scissors. With five blades, these scissors make herb mincing a snap! Our retail manager, Marty, uses our Five-Blade Herb Scissors regularly, saying “Seriously, if you use these once, you’ll never chop herbs again!” A great way to preserve fresh herbs is with our Frozen Herb Starters which makes ready-to-use cubes for all sorts of recipes including soups, sauces, stews, roasts, or pesto. This method is best for preserving the flavor of harder herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano, by freezing them in a liquid such as olive oil, broth, butter, or water.

For dried herbs, our 4 oz. Dry Herb Jars with easily sealed shaker lids are perfect for storing and using herbs anytime. We also sell Herb Shaker Caps separately, so you can choose the jar size. Just hang your herbs for a few weeks to dry, snip with the Herb Scissors, store in the jars, and they’re ready to make your meals superb!

If you haven’t yet gotten your herb plants or need a little extra, no need to worry! We currently have a fine selection of lush herb plants: basil, chives, rosemary, oregano, mint, parsley and much more! You can start using them right away and they’ll continue to produce for the rest of the summer.

Just remember…if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.

More Savings

Purchase two 4” or 5” perennials and get one of equal or lesser value free. There is no limit to this fantastic opportunity!  Don’t miss out on a chance to economically expand your perennial garden.

Buy 2 – 1 free
Buy 4 – 2 free
Buy 6 – 3 free
and so on…

This offer is good at both locations.

Selected Pottery – 40% Off

Located in front of House 8
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The clearance pottery has been moved into the area in front of House 8 – straight in front of you when you come up the drive.  Save 40% on this select group of pottery. These pieces will make great additions to patios and landscaping, and at these prices, will be gone soon.

Art in the Garden

By Marty Robbins

Art in the Garden Vendor Information

This year’s Art In The Garden will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Setup and CHECK-IN begins at 7:00 a.m. You must be ready to sell by 9 a.m.

To participate this year, we will require a non-refundable registration fee of $25.00 for a single booth and $35.00 for a double booth. After you arrive and have your booth space set up, America’s Best Flowers will present you with a $20.00 America’s Best Flowers gift card (regardless of the booth size.)

To register, please either send us a check or stop by our garden center in Cottage Grove. A registration form will be at our Customer Service desk.  If mailing your check for a space, please include a brief note stating that it is for the Art in the Garden event.  Please include your phone number and email address for contact purposes. Please send your check to:

America’s Best Flowers
4311 Vilas Hope Rd
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

This is an art and craft fair!  We ask that the items you are selling be handmade or at least semi-hand made.

[Click here to read the rest of this article…]

Our Fall Seeds Have Arrived

Now is a great time to start thinking about and planning your fall garden.  We have a garden full of Livingston seeds for you to plant!   Peas, beans, carrots, lettuce and radishes are just a sampling of the variety we have to choose from.

Our seed supply goes quickly, so be sure to stop out real soon to get the variety of seeds that you want to plant in your fall garden.

Ask Irene: Dry Lobelia Plants

Q:  Hi, can you tell me why all of my lobelia plants would be drying up and dying already?  It doesn’t seem to matter if they are in the sun or shade.  All of my blue are pretty much dead and my white are starting to dry up also.  I have given them plenty of water.  Can you help me with this?

A:  Does it help to hear that you are not alone?  I don’t doubt that you are watering your plants, but lobelia can be tricky to keep happy through the heat of summer.  I know this summer has not been that hot so far, but lobelia prefers day temperatures in the 60s and lower 70s.  It shows heat stress by going out of bloom and water stress by drying out and dying.  It is a heavy water user and unforgiving about drying out between waterings, going brown and crispy in short order.  Plants in pots should be watered once they are dry just below the surface, typically at least once a day.  Plants in garden beds should be mulched to keep roots cool.  If the base of the plant is still green, you can trim off the browned tips, keep them well watered and wait until flowers return.

Just to make things complicated, lobelia is also sensitive to over watering.  Weak rooted plants may succumb to root rot in soggy soil.  These plants start to wilt, prompting more watering, which leads to root death and subsequent plant death.

While plants bloom best in full sun, it can be challenging to keep roots consistently moist, I would sit lobelia where it gets some afternoon shade, especially in a container.  There are some diseases and pests that also affect lobelia, but sight unseen; the most likely culprits are some combination of heat and drought stress.

Breeders have been developing varieties of lobelia that tolerate heat better, and you may want to seek these out.  You pay more for these plants – they are not the seed varieties grown in 4 packs – but you are also more likely to be pleased with their season long performance.  We grow the ‘Hot’ series of lobelia in #5 pots for spring sales.  Another series I like a lot is called Techno Heat.  True confession:  I have let these newer varieties go absolutely bone dry & frizzy with wilt in a container baking on my south facing porch, then seen them bounce back and bloom until frost.  Old-fashioned lobelia has zero tolerance for that kind of absent-minded neglect.

Good luck,

America’s Best Flowers wants to help you succeed in your gardening efforts. If you have gardening questions send an email to Irene, at  Irene will get back to you promptly. Let America’s Best Flowers be your go-to greenhouse for answers.

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jul 25
5th Annual Dog Wash

11am-3pm – Bring your wonderful dirty dogs out to our garden spa for a bath and nail trim. Benefits the Dane County Humane Society.

Sat, Jul 25
2nd Annual Fund Raiser for Cottage Grove Police Dog "Larz"

Cancelled Larz is unfortunately not available for a visit this year. The rest of the festivities continue unimpeded.

Sat, Aug 8
Customer Appreciation Day at the greenhouse!

11am-2pm Enjoy a FREE brat/hot dog & corn-on-the-cob served by the Cottage Grove Historical Society. Cottage Grove location only.

Sat, Aug 22
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Sat, Sep 12
Art in the Garden Craft Fair

9am-3pm Talented artists display and sell their unique items.

Sat, Sep 19
Flea Market

9am-3pm – Rain or Shine

Q: Why did the tomato go out with a prune?
A: Because he couldn’t find a date!

Our Kitchen

Gardeners everywhere have been waiting not so patiently  for those first delicious tomatoes from their gardens.  The wait is over, our cherry tomatoes are producing their hearts out.  If you are anxious for that fresh from the garden tomato taste, wait no longer.  Come on out and pick up a few containers.  You’ll be so glad you did.

Marty’s Cherry Tomato Salad

  • 2 C cherry tomatoes
  • 1 med yellow onion, sliced thinly, and separated into rings
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thinly
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley chopped (our herb scissors work best)
  • 1 bottle Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing.

Combine all in a large bowl.

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

Carol and Ed Knapton, owners of Americas's Best Flowers You’ll Love Your Garden … It’s Our Promise! May the Holy Spirit Guide You! God Bless
Edward Knapton says Keep on Smiling!
Sec – Treasurer Berry Hill Farms, Inc.
DBA Americas Best Flowers Garden Center
4311 Vilas Hope Road
Cottage Grove, WI 53527
608-222-2269 Fax 608-222-1234 Cell 608-698-5627